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Altavista Police Department asks town to consider photo speed monitoring technology

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 5:09 PM EDT
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ALTAVISTA, Va. (WDBJ) - Drivers drive by Altavista Elementary School.

This school zone is one of a couple places the Altavista Police Department wants to bring new traffic enforcement devices to.

“Any time we can reduce speed in the school zones, we certainly want to,” said Thomas Merricks, Altavista police chief. “We wanna ensure the safety of the children, parents, teachers, everyone.”

The police department is asking town council to consider photo speed technology.

Cameras from NovoaGlobal would be placed in the school zones.

From there, the cameras monitor traffic independently from police, but citation reviews would go through the department.

“That would come back through someone in the department to review - make sure the tag information is correct, correct state and everything like that, and then you would be issued a civil penalty,” said Merricks.

It’s a penalty HB1442 says will not exceed $100 for motorists going at least 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.

The new bill took effect this year specifically for school crossing zones and highway work zones.

However, a citation issued through these types of cameras would not go on a person’s driving record.

“I like the idea that it’s a civil penalty. It won’t cost against somebody’s driving record or insurance, but maybe it will still be a deterrent for people to slow down,” said Merricks.

They’re also asking the town to consider signs that show driver’s speed.

Those signs would have radar detectors, but not cameras for citations.

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